Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kindergartners Make Music in the Library, Juan Fernandez-Saines, Librarian, Pickard Elementary School

One of my goals for the REVITAL project was to also include the kindergarten students in the learning of a special lesson.  I do not want any of my students to think that the library is only about reading and analyzing print media.  I want them to realize that the library is a place where they can learn about everything, including how to play music.  Our school does not have a music program or music teacher.  So all of our students don’t receive enough exposure to learn about this art form.

My help in realizing this goal was when I received a visit and support from Mrs. Colleen Herman.  She helped me download several free apps on two iPads including Garageband from  the iTunes store.  After learning how to do that I downloaded the apps to the rest of the iPads. So I began my first lesson by reading two digital books from  The books were “Instruments and Music”  by Daniel Dunn and “The Bremen Town Musicians” as retold by Eric Blair.  After reading the books students also completed the handout “Which Are Musical Instruments?”

I taught the students how to open Garageband and I also played a few notes.  I also taught them how to swipe to select other instruments such as the drums and guitar.  They were very eager to  start learning. What I noticed when I grouped my students as they worked together was remarkable: they were discovering new functions on their own and teaching each other how to use them!  After allowing them to experiment for the first session, the next session was to make their learning more harmonious.

To do this, I taught them how to play the first eight notes on the piano.  I told them that when they combined different sounds they were creating a pattern that would produce rhythm and hence make music.  Now they were no longer just producing clanging sounds, their music went up another step and it became organized.

A few years ago it was unimaginable that we would have this capability of learning. Buying musical instruments can easily cost the school thousands of dollars.  And when funding is scarce and there is no music teacher, the iPad technology has made it possible for our students to enjoy producing music on their own.  It is my hope that next year our kindergarten students, who will be in first grade will be able to learn complete songs.  And who knows? Next year we may even have our first concert with an orchestra composed of iPads!

No comments:

Post a Comment